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Trump’s Rush to Judgment on Syria Chemical Attack

Friday, April 13, 2018 15:38
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Trump’s Rush to Judgment on Syria Chemical Attack


We need hard evidence about what happened in Douma before threatening war

By Scott Ritter  /  Strategic Culture

On Sunday, President Trump announced his intention to make those responsible for an alleged chemical weapons attack on Douma, including the Syrian government and its Russian and Iranian allies, pay a “big price” for their continued disregard for international law. The next day U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley declared that “The United States is determined to see the monster who dropped chemical weapons on the Syrian people held to account.”

President Trump reinforced his call for action on Monday, noting that the United States would not sit back in the face of the alleged use of chemical weapons by Syria. “It will be met, and it will be met forcefully,” the president said, adding that those responsible for the attack will be held accountable, whether it was Syria, Russia, Iran or “all of them together.” Trump noted that a decision to use military force would be made “over the next 24 to 48 hours.”

The pronouncements of imminent military action by the United States are not made in a vacuum. Russia, which has considerable military forces deployed inside Syria, including advanced military aircraft and anti-aircraft missile batteries, has rejected the allegations of chemical weapons use by Syria as a “fabrication,” and promised that any attack on Syria would result in “serious repercussions.” Russian forces inside Syria have reportedly been placed on “full alert” as American naval vessels capable of launching cruise missiles have arrived off the Syrian coast.

The United States and Russia appear to be heading toward a direct military confrontation that, depending on the level of force used and the number, if any, casualties incurred by either side, carries with it the risk of a broader conflict. While Russian (and Syrian) claims of innocence regarding the alleged chemical weapons attack cannot be accepted at face value, the fact that the United States has not backed up its own claims with anything other than a recitation of accusations made by rebel groups opposed to the regime of Bashar al-Assad is problematic insofar as it shows a rush to judgement on matters of war. Given the potentially devastating consequences of any U.S.-Russian military clash over Syria, it would be better for all parties involved to wait for a full and thorough investigation of the alleged attack before any final decision on the use of force in response is made.

There are two versions of what happened in Douma, a suburb of Damascus home to between 80,000 and 150,000 people. The one relied upon by the United States is provided by rebel forces opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. According to the Violations Documentation Center (VDC), a non-profit organization comprised of various Syrian opposition groups funded by the Asfari Foundation and George Soros’ Open Societies Foundation, at approximately 12 p.m. the Syrian Air Force attacked the vicinity of the Saada Bakery using munitions believed to contain “poisonous gas.” The VDC cited eyewitness accounts from members of the Syrian Civil Defense, or “White Helmets,” who described the smell of chlorine and the presence of numerous bodies assessed to have succumbed from gas sourced to a Syrian “rocket.” Later, at 7 p.m., a second air strike struck an area near Martyr’s Square, again using munitions assessed by eyewitnesses to contain “poisonous gas.” Doctors from the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) described symptoms that indicated that a nerve agent had been used. Images of victims in the locations allegedly attacked were released by a rebel-affiliated social media entity known as the “Douma Revolution” and the “White Helmets.”    

Douma is part of a larger district known as Eastern Ghouta which has, since 2012, been under the control of various militant organizations opposed to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In early February 2018, the Syrian Army, supported by the Russian Air Force, began operations to recapture the Eastern Ghouta district. The joint Syrian-Russian offensive was as brutal as it was effective—by March, Eastern Ghouta had been split into three pockets of resistance at a cost of more than 1,600 civilian dead. Two of the pockets capitulated under terms which had the opposition fighters and their families evacuated to rebel-held territory in the northern Syrian province of Idlib. Only Douma held out, where Salafist fighters from the “Army of Islam” (Jaish al-Islam) refused to surrender. On April 5, the situation had deteriorated inside Douma to the point that the rebel defenders had agreed to negotiations that would lead to their evacuation of Douma; the very next day, however, these discussions had broken down, and the Syrian military resumed its offensive. The air attacks described by the VDC occurred on the second day of the resumption of hostilities.

There is a competing narrative, however, provided by the Russian government and those sympathetic to its position. After the breakdown of negotiations between the Douma rebels and the Russian government on April 6, the story goes, the Syrian government offensive to liberate Douma resumed. The Douma rebels, faced with imminent defeat, fabricated the allegations of a chemical attack. Russia had warned of such a provocation back in March 2018, claiming the rebels were working in coordination with the United States to create the conditions for a massive American air attack against Syrian government infrastructure.

Shortly after the Syrian government resumed its offensive against Douma (and after the opposition forces publicized their allegations of Syrian government chemical weapons attacks), the rebel resistance inside Douma collapsed, with the fighters agreeing to be evacuated to Idlib. The Russian military was able to dispatch units to the sites of the alleged chemical weapons attacks and conduct a survey. According to the state-run Russian news, no evidence of a chemical weapons attack was discovered. Representatives of the Syrian Red Crescent who claim to have worked in Douma stated that they have seen no evidence of any chemical weapons use there, either.

Beyond providing a competing narrative, however, Russia has offered to open up Douma to inspectors from the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons, or OPCW, for a full investigation. This offer was echoed by the Syrian government, which extended an official invitation for the OPCW to come to Douma. On April 10, the OPCW announced that it would be dispatching an inspection team “shortly” to carry out this work. The forensic technical investigatory capabilities of an OPCW inspection team are such that it would be able to detect the presence of any chemical agent used in Douma. While the investigation itself would take days to conduct and weeks to process, its conclusions would, under these circumstances, be conclusive as to the presence of any prohibited substance.

One major drawback to any OPCW investigation is its inability to assess responsibility for the presence of any banned substances detected. In prior investigations inside Syria, the OPCW was able to operate as part of the United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), an entity specifically empowered by Security Council resolution to make such determinations. The mandate of the JIM was not extended, however, after Russia expressed its displeasure over what it deemed to be the inaccurate and politicized findings regarding previous allegations of chemical weapons use by the Syrian government. The United States has submitted a resolution to the Security Council demanding that a new investigatory body be formed that would be able to provide attribution for any chemical weapons attack inside Syria; whether Russia would veto such a resolution or allow it to be passed has yet to be seen.

The bottom line, however, is that the United States is threatening to go to war in Syria over allegations of chemical weapons usage for which no factual evidence has been provided. This act is occurring even as the possibility remains that verifiable forensic investigations would, at a minimum, confirm the presence of chemical weapons (thereby contradicting the Russian claims that no such evidence was detected by its troops), and if the Security Council passes a resolution allowing for a properly mandated investigation team, actual attribution could be assigned.

Moreover, President Trump’s rush to judgment on Syrian guilt is being done in a highly politicized environment, coming as it does on the heels of an FBI raid on the offices of the president’s personal attorney. In times such as this, a president is often attracted by the prospect of “looking presidential” in order to offset personal problems (one only need to look at President Clinton’s decision in August 1998, at the height of the Lewinsky scandal, to launch cruise missile attacks on Afghanistan and Sudan.)

If America is to place its military in harm’s way, it needs to be in support of a cause worthy of the sacrifice being asked of those who serve. Giving the OPCW time to carry out its investigation in Syria would allow a fact-based case to be made whether military force was justified or not, as well as support a determination of whether or not the risks associated with the use of force were warranted. Pulling the trigger void of such information, especially when Trump is distracted by personal political issues, is not something the American people, nor their representatives in Congress, should tolerate.

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Total 7 comments
  • Josie

    Another false flag!!!!!!!

  • Jerry

    Nothing is as it appears. No WWIII, so not to worry

  • DangerWillRoberson

    i have a plan Coleman Act 2018 i will put trump in jail with hillary! cut the government 90% legally, ban tax put the people in control not satan and his sons of Baal!

    • CUB4DK

      …DANGER DANGER Will Robinson DANGER DANGER…In 2018…Coleman ACTed in panic when went to the CAN and couldn’t find his WEE WEE…hehehe :lol:

  • CTrent33

    “rush to judgment”

    He does whatever his jew masters tell him to do. Just like every other President. Otherwise they will get the “Kennedy treatment”.

  • The Ferrett

    Donald Trump has now demonstrated that he is nothing more than an inarticulate sideshow clown and a counterfeit medieval medicine man offering cheap miracle and ILLUSIONARY fixes for America’s problems here and abroad – “I will eliminate poverty” he was heard to have said recently.

    Donald Trump is really Donald Drumpf, and his real name reveals some of the true secrets behind his character. Trump appears not even to be his family’s legal name.

    Donald’s great-grandparents, Christian Johannes Drumpf and Katherina Kober, had sons, Christian Drumpf and Christ Chirst.[16] Christian was Sleazy Freddy’s father. By his name, Christ Christ, may had converted to Judaism. Nevertheless, Donald’s great-grandmother, Kathernia Kober, appears to have been Jewish.

    What we know is that the surname Kober is German and Jewish (Ashkenazic): from a derivative of the personal name Jakob or Yakov. German and Jewish (Ashkenazic): from German Kober “basket“,

    Recently Donald Trump released a Chanukah greeting along with a message of solidarity for his “Jewish brothers and sisters”. He tweeted out a wish for a “happy and healthy eight nights” along with a formal message on behalf of himself and the First Lady, Melania – who aint no lady!

    He said: “Chanukah is a time for Jewish families around the world to come together around the lighting of the menorah and celebrate the miracles of the past and promises of the future. Melania and I wish all of our Jewish brothers and sisters celebrating this meaningful holiday a happy and healthy eight nights in the company of those they love.” He went on to explain the Chanukah story, concluding that he was “proud to stand with the Jewish people who shine as a light to all nations. We also stand with the people of Israel, the Jewish State, which has itself a miraculous history of . . . overcoming the greatest of odds. ”

    As with most who desire to be rich, Donald Drumpf made his pact with the DEVIL a long time ago, and he doesn’t mind showing you who his father is and his Jewish kin are who now totally dominate the White House.

    Just to hit the point home, the appointment of John Bolton to be the new National Security Advisor is just the latest Trump hiring of a morally flexible Zionist stooge and perhaps the most concerning thus far. Bolton is chairman of the Gatestone Institute, a Neocon think tank that is financed by US-Israeli Zionists and operates as a black propaganda outlet for the crime cabal that we often refer to as Khazarian mafia.

    So, this current Putin bashing or “east vs west” dialectic is phony, just like the so-called opposition of the Jewish owned MSM and the Jewish owned Trump. Think about it! And you don’t navigate the shark-infested waters of NYC real estate without becoming a prisoner to Israeli foreign policy. Trump would NEVER have made his millions in historically Jewish owned Manhattan property without their help.
    It’s all theatre with a bunch of bad actors on the world stage doing their best to deceive the dumbed down goyim and its so classic Mossad. But as they say in the classics . . “You can’t fool all of the people ALL of the time . . .
    We are expected to believe that the Assad regime committed a horrific atrocity against mostly women and children at the very moment when Syrian forces have decisively defeated the Islamist rebels and Trump declared he wanted US troops out of Syria. Days before this fake attack, the Russian Defense Ministry warned that a false flag provocation was in the making.

    Where’s the evidence that Assad launched a chemical attack? Like the series of fake “attacks” touted by the jihadist rebels over the years, this one lacks verification – but that doesn’t bother the War Party. Since when do they need evidence? Last time Trump fell for this routine it turned out that his own Secretary of Defense admitted – well after the US bombing raid – that there was “no evidence” that the Syrian government had launched a chemical attack.

    The same dodgy “proof” beleaguers the Skripal “poisoning” case in Britain – and, what a coincidence, the same villains are being blamed – Putin & Co. The idea that Assad had anything to gain from launching such an attack is not even worth refuting: he’d already won the war. So what would be the point? It isn’t hard to understand this, yet our stupid President is clueless – or pretends to be.
    The sad thing is that most Americans have slowly but surely become a dumbed down and largely clueless people that have NO awareness of the risk that the criminally insane government in Washington is taking with their lives. The lack of mass street protests throughout the nation is clear proof of that.

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